• Pu-erh tea has a special packaging method as well as many possibilities in
shapes when compressed.
• Both the green and black pu-erh teas are left as loose leaves or compressed in
“cakes” using any of these shapes :
a) Brick Tea (Juan Cha)
b) Cake Tea (Beeng Cha) this is the most popular shape and generally
weighs about 357grams
c) Bell Shape (Toa Cha)
d) Shape (Maw Gu Toaw)
- When the tea has been compressed, paper made with natural fiber
is wrapped around each compressed shape. They are bundled with dried bamboo leaves in stacks of seven which they call “tung”. This is a very old method and dates back centuries but is guaranteed to keep the packaged teas clean and tightly packed which aids in their fermentation.
- Pu-erh tea can also be dome-shaped (tuo cha), square or brick shaped (cha Zhuan) or pumpkin-shaped. Actually, Pu-erh can take any shape or design desired. The College of Pu-erh Tea of the Yunnan Agricultural University owns decorative panels made beautiful by using Pu-erh as shown in the photos below.
Watch this video showing how raw Pu-erh tea is packaged into cakes at a small factory in Yunnan, China
Further, watch this interesting video showing how to break Puerh tea. An unusual process in itself, the breaking of the tea is often done for just what is required of one single serving of tea.
II. Pu-erh’s Origins
VII. Shaping and Packaging Methods
VIII. Storing Pu-Erh Tea